God’s Loving Grace


Prayer: “Our Father in Heaven, please use this study to help the children discover and appreciate your loving grace.”

Select activities that fit your children's background, and local customs.

1.    Read or tell by memory the story of the Wasteful Son, Luke 15:11-32.

If possible, prepare an older child to relate the story to the other children.

Explain before relating the story that its purpose is to show how a young man was surprised when his father forgave him. The son had treated his father very badly.

After relating the story, ask these questions:

·         What did the son ask his father to give him?

·         What did the son do with his inheritance?

·         What happened to the son when all of his inheritance money was wasted and gone?

·         What did the son want to say to his father?

·         How did the father treat the son? How did the older son feel about his younger brother?

·         What did the father explain to the older brother?

·         Draw pictures of the pigs that the wasteful son had to feed.

·         Let the older children help the younger draw their pictures.

·         Explain to the adults: The pigs illustrate how God’s grace reaches us no matter how far away from God we have run. He forgives us no matter how badly we have sinned, when we leave our sin, return to him and ask for his forgiveness.

2.    Rehearse and dramatize ‘the wasteful son’ for the adults.

·         Arrange with worship leaders for the children to present the drama to the adults.

·         When the narrator reads a part of the story, the actors say the words and do the actions of the person in that part of the Bible story.

·         Let the children prepare questions about this story to ask the adults following the drama.

·         Practice until everyone knows what to do and say

Narrator          Read those parts of the story that are not spoken by other actors. Pause to let them act and say their parts.

Wasteful son   Say the words of the younger son. Add motions or words that clarify what happened.

Father             Say the words and do the actions of the father.

Older son        Say the words and do the actions of the older son.

Servant            Say the words and do the actions of the servant, including catching and killing the fattened calf.

Calf                  If you want to add a bit of fun, have two boys play the part of the calf. They bend over, with a blanket thrown over their backs.

Older son        Say the words and do the actions of the older son.

Bad friends     If there are enough children, you might let some of them act as bad friends who help the younger son to waste his money in a distant land.



3.    Poem (Psalm 103, verses 2, 3, 4 & 11).

·         Let two children say the two parts.

·         They may say this poem for the adults.

Part 1

Praise the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits.

He forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases.

Part 2

He redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion.

As a father has compassion on his children,
so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him.

4.    Memory verse: Ephesians 2:8–9

5.    Prayer.

 “Lord, our lives are full of sin, and without you, we would be lost.

“Thank you for forgiving us the bad things we have done.

“Thank you for welcoming us again when we turned back to you?

“We rejoice that you are happy when we come back to you.

“Help us also to rejoice when lost people come back to you.

“We ask this in Jesus’ precious name. Amen.”